Egypt, Israel, and the Ancient Mediterranean World: Studies in Honor of Donald B. Redford

By Gary N. Knoppers; Antoine Hirsch | Go to book overview

THE TOMBS OF THE PYRAMID BUILDERS—THE
TOMB OF THE ARTISAN PETETY AND HIS CURSE1

Zahi Hawass


Introduction

The tomb of the artisan Petety is located in the Upper Cemetery containing the tombs of the pyramid builders at Giza. This cemetery is located southeast of the Great Sphinx and south of the stone wall known as the heit-el ghorab or “wall of the crow.” The excavations in this area began in 1990 when the Lower Cemetery, which consists of the burials of the workmen who moved the stones in the construction of the pyramids, was discovered. At this time, the Upper Cemetery with the tombs of the artisans was also excavated. The tombs of the Lower Cemetery were built of mud brick and incorporated various materials left over from the building of the pyramids, such as pieces of limestone, granite, and basalt. The tombs in the Lower Cemetery were also constructed in a variety of shapes including beehive, step pyramid, and in the form of the primeval mound. Another type of tomb is the mastaba with a limestone false door, which has no inscriptions (fig. 1).2 The Upper Cemetery contains tombs built of mud brick and limestone and were discovered with many statues and inscriptions. The tomb of Petety is one of these tombs (pl. l).3 The Upper Cem

1 I met Donald Redford at the beginning of my career in Cairo on many occa-
sions, when he was the director of the Akhenaten Temple project. In 1982, while I
was a student at the University of Pennsylvania, I went to Toronto to give a lecture
on my excavation at Kom Abou Bellou in the Delta. I found Donald Redford to be
a very impressive scholar and one of the most active in excavating and publishing.
His recent work at the site of Mendes in the Delta in addition to his excavations at
Karnak, which he directed for many years, demonstrate his abilities in excavation
techniques and conservation. He sometimes visits me at my office at the Giza pyra-
mids. It is to Donald Redford that I dedicate this article.

2 There are a number of assistants and colleagues who participated in the exca-
vation, such as Mansour Boraik, Mamdouh Taha, Amani Abdou El Hamied, and
Nagwa Hussini. Also, I would like to thank Heide Saleh for her work with us as a
volunteer in the summer of 2000 and 2001, Veronique Vermel, and the late pho-
tographer Husaballa El-Tieb.

3 See Z. Hawass, “The Workmen's Community at Giza,” Haus und Palast im alten

-21-

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